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72 Hours In New York City

What is there to do in New York City in just 72 hours? A whole lot if you ask me! From spotting famous landmarks and street art tours, to eating pizza and cycling around Central Park, there is so much you can see and do in New York in a limited time. Just a note, this was our second trip to NYC so it won’t contain some of the typical bucket list New York things to do, as we did these last time. But if you want to check those out you can find my blog posts about it here. So if you need ideas on how to spend 72 hours in New York or need ideas on what to do during a shorter or longer trip to the big apple keep reading!

Cycle around Central Park

Image credit: Dan Moore

Bike riding in Central Park is a fantastic way of seeing the park in a limited amount of time. During our last visit we barely scratched the surface when walking around, so opted to cycle this time to see the whole of the park. You pass the Alice in Wonderland and Balto statues, The Pond, the absolutely huge Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir,  The Lake and Strawberry Fields during the cycle and you can stop at any time. A small thing to remember, Central Park is huge and in some parts very steep, so it will take a while to cycle all the way round. Without any stops it could take you an hour, so be thoughtful of this when deciding how long to hire a bike for.

Image credit: Dan Moore

We rented our bikes from Bike Rent NYC for $20 per person. This included a bike, a basket, locks and two hours cycling, which we thought was plenty of time for cycling the whole 6 miles around the park, whilst also stopping to take some photos and catch our breathe. Head to the bike shed on Grand Army Plaza (East 60th Street and 5th Avenue) and they’ll sort you out with bikes.

Eat amazing pizza

New York is home to some of the best pizza slices, so be sure to sample a few when you’re in the city. We’ve found doing a little research ahead of our trip was super helpful and ensured we visited some of the most popular pizza places in New York City. We’ve now got so many favourites and I’m going to be writing a separate post just about pizza soon, so keep your eyes peeled! But for those of you wondering, my favourite from the trip was John’s of Bleeker Street.

Explore Brooklyn

Image credit: Dan Moore

When visiting New York I would highly recommend taking a trip out to Brooklyn and spending some time in the borough. From Manhattan’s Union Square station it’s a mere three stops on the L train to Bedford Avenue, the longest street in Brooklyn and home to thrift shops and restaurants galore. If you’re looking for a place to pick up a record or two head to Rough Trade NYC. You’ll fund mainstream and a little more obscure vinyl, CDs and even cassette tapes, along with a bar and a live music venue too.

Following an Insider Tip from my Marco Polo guide book we headed to Barcade whilst we were in the area. In this bar you’ll find classic arcade games and American craft beers. For just 25 cents (you can exchange your dollars for tokens at the machines) you can play Ms. Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Crazy Taxi and many more.

Take a Street Art tour

Street art is a huge part of Brooklyn’s culture and none more so than the Bushwick Collective. Thanks to icelolly.com we got to experience the Graffiti and Street Art Walking Tour by Brooklyn Unplugged Tours, which was great! We saw the likes of Stik, Louis Masai, Sibros Naberezny, DFace and many more, whilst also getting to experience another area of Brooklyn which we had not yet explored. You’ll be able to read more about the street art tour in another post soon.

Visit the Strand Book Store

Image credit: Dan Moore

When browsing through my Marco Polo guide book before the trip I stumbled across the Strand Book Store. I was so surprised I hadn’t come across it in my research, but I am so glad I did. If you’re a book lover and are looking for something bookish to do in New York City, a visit to the Strand Book Store is a must. You’ll find 18 miles of new, used and rare books, split over four different floors. It houses around 2.5 million books and there are sections dedicated to photography, fashion, children, comic, young adults and so much more. For a book lover it is super overwhelming and if you don’t have a book in mind, you will be there for hours.

Ride on the Staten Island Ferry

If you’ve only got 72 hours in New York City a ride on the Staten Island Ferry would be one of my suggestions. I missed out on our first trip and was super disappointed, so it was great to make time for it on this trip. You can get the subway to the South Ferry station and from there head up to take a free ride over to Staten Island. When you come out of the station lots of tour companies and official looking staff will try and ask about reservations and sell you tours. Ignore them and keep walking to the ferry terminal!

During the week the ferries go every half hour from both the South Ferry terminal and the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island, but are more frequent during rush hour. Staff were super helpful in directing us to the right side of the boat in order to see the Statue of Liberty (FYI it’s the left side from South Ferry). The views of New York City from the ferry are wonderful, especially on a sunny day like we were lucky enough to get. It was awesome to see the Statue of Liberty from the water, albeit she is a lot smaller than expected. For those looking for a closer view you’ll need to book yourself on an Ellis Island tour.

As you can see we did a lot during our short time in New York City. I hope the blog will be helpful in planning your very own New York City trips. As always I would love to hear your thought, suggestions and your trip stories. Just comment on the blog below!

Until next time.

*NB* My copy of the New York Travel Guide was gifted to my by Marco Polo Guides. This post is part of a paid campaign with them also. Finally my street art walking tour was gifted to me by icelolly.com. But please note that all views of the guide and experience are my own.

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